The King of Falafel and Shawarma
Broadway and 30th St, Astoria

The Vendy Awards is the poor man’s version of the James Beard Award given to NYC street cart vendors in an annual awards ceremony. After several years as a finalist, the self-proclaimed King of Falafel and Shawarma finally took home the silver cup in 2010. Astoria’s own King is not ashamed to promote himself or show his award either, check out the video. When I visited his cart, always parked on Broadway and 30th street in Astoria, the Vendy cup was proudly showcased on its very own faux-marble column! So is the King worthy of his domain? Evidently many think so, when the King arrived at the cart at 11:15 am, people were already swarming from all corners to cue up. I ordered the falafel platter with basmati rice and received a heavy container with 6 large, tender falafel accompanied with lettuce, tomato, onions and purple pickled carrots, topped with creamy tahini. I made the error of getting the hot sauce, which has quite intense, but this was an excellent, filling lunch. You can’t beat the deal for only $6. Next time I would try the chicken or signature kefta. The personable King loves his job, and is certainly master of his domain.

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